Monday, October 20, 2014

Spider Gap-Buck Creek Pass loop, Glacier Peak Wilderness

Last weekend was so good that another Sunday weather window had me craving more of the same. The Spider Gap-Buck Creek Pass loop is another Washington classic, whether done as a backpack or a long day run, it is phenomenal.

We took one wrong turn up on Middle Ridge, but got to see a beautiful basin at the top and the bushwhack down was actually quite manageable, not losing too much time. We still were able to finish before dark and thank goodness the 59er Diner is open late. I feel like I've had my fill of the Chiwawa River Road for the rest of the year though...

Thanks to Ethan for coming along and putting up with me taking 200+ pictures!

Lower Phelps Creek trail
Upper Spider Meadow, headed toward the turn off for Spider Gap (above-left of Ethan)
Looking down at Spider Meadows
Steep climb up

Larch knob before Spider Glacier 
Spider Glacier with 2-3" of recent snow
Cold and windy at Spider Gap, 7,100'

Descending north from Spider Gap
Ethan heading down toward Lyman Lakes, with Cloudy Pass, eastern half of Plummer and Sitting Bull mountains
Sitting Bull, Dome, and Sinister above Cloudy Pass

What's left of the Lyman Glacier
Bonanza Peak 9,511' in the clouds, highest non-volcanic summit in Washington
Ethan and Bonanza, descending to Lower Lyman Lake
Above Lower Lyman
Lower Lyman and the north ridge of Chiwawa Mountain
Looking back at Chiwawa, Lyman Lakes, Spider Gap just in the clouds, and Dumbell Mountain
Zoom of Lyman Lakes, the glacier and descent from Spider Gap
Plummer Mountain and Sitting Bull
Ethan with Sitting Bull, Dome, Sinister and Gunsight
Sinister, Gunsight and Agnes (Saddle Bow in foreground) 
Hiker shortcut to Suiattle Pass 
Plummer Mountain and Miners Ridge 
Looking west to Glacier Peak, from before Buck Creek Pass
Approaching Buck Creek Pass; "only" a little over ten miles down to the trailhead


  1. Love all the fall colors. Makes it a totally different run than the traditional summer outing.


  3. Hey Luke, congrats on the circumnavigation of Glacier - very inspiring. I've been looking at doing the Spider Gap-Buck Creek Pass Loop recently and would love any advice you have on running it. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Nick! My only thoughts would be to park at Buck Creek TH (Trinity) and go counterclockwise. Otherwise everything is pretty straightforward! Just make sure and check the weather/wind in relation to the Wolverine Fire to avoid smoke (if possible). Have a great time!